Simplify Your Family's Emergency Preparedness

Summer Heat Safety Tips You Need to Know

Prepare Now to be #SummerReady

yellow warning sign that says heat wave ahead with a fire in background.

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June 20th is officially the first day of summer. Are you as ready as I am?!


It’s a super fun thing to plan for, but there are also some important things to be aware of. Extreme heat is one of the leading weather-related killers in the United States. According to the CDC, there are over 1,000 deaths per year caused by complications due to higher temperatures.


Keep reading and you’ll learn the summer heat safety tips you need to know in order to have that care-free, fun and relaxing summer you intend to have.

Extreme Heat Facts

Vulnerable populations

While extreme heat can cause problems for anyone, there are certain population groups who are more susceptible to complications due to rising temperatures. These include:


  • rural communities
  • older adults (the 65+ crowd)
  • outdoor workers
  • infants/children
  • low-income
  • training athletes
  • those with precarious medical conditions
  • pregnant women

Another population you might not necessarily know about are urban heat islands. An urban heat island is created in densely built cities. With all the buildings, asphalt roads and lack of greenery, the sun’s heat is absorbed causing the temperatures to rise higher than surrounding areas. It creates an ‘island’ effect.

Heat Advisory vs Heat Warning

Heat Advisory: Issued when the heat index is predicted to be at or more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 2 hours on any given day. An advisory is typically issued on a day by day basis.


Excessive Heat Warning: Issued when the heat index is predicted to be at or above 105 degrees Fahrenheit for 2 or more days and the nighttime temperature won’t drop below 75 degrees.

summer heat affecting older man.

Preparing Your Home for Extreme Summer Heat

There are a few ways you can make sure that your home is ready to keep you safe when the temperatures start to creep up during the summer months. And honestly, these tips should be part of your home maintenance plan anyway.


  1. Check the insulation around HVAC units and ducts.
  2. Have your AC units inspected regularly and have coolant replaced as needed.
  3. Make sure weather stripping is in good condition and replace if needed.
  4. Use window coverings.
  5. If your home doesn’t have an AC unit installed, consider purchasing a window unit that you can use during extreme summer heat.

Summer heat safety tips to review with your loved ones

While you can’t control the weather, you can make sure that your loved ones are equipped with the information they need to stay safe when extremely high temperatures swoop in. Take the time to review the following before mother nature sends the dangerous heat.

What if I don't have air conditioning during extreme summer heat?

I think many of us take having air conditioning for granted. But there are many people who don’t have it in their homes. Not to mention that in extreme weather, there is a tendency for power outages to occur. You need to know what to do in these situations.

Emergency Evacuation Plan

Knowing your evacuation plan is a key part of your Family Emergency Plan. Make sure you know which shelters near you will have air conditioning and how you will get to them.

High Heat + High Humidity

I know some people think that high heat is the same everywhere. But if you’ve lived in the southeast part of the United States, then you fully understand that the humidity adds another layer of discomfort! 


If you do not have air conditioning in your home and you are dealing with high humidity, a fan is NOT enough! The “feels like” temp is much worse in these areas and your body cannot properly cool itself.


You’ll want to seek refuge. Consider going to public places nearby like a library, mall, or museum – somewhere that you could find relief during the daytime hours.

evacuation plan checklist.

Signs of danger from extreme heat

Heat Stroke

Here are the warning signs of someone dealing with heat stroke and you need to call 9-1-1:


  • hot, red skin
  • change in consciousness
  • vomiting
  • high body temperature

Heat Exhaustion:

If you or someone near you is experiencing the following symptoms, take action to get them to a safe place and cool off:


  • experiencing cramps in legs and/or abdomen
  • cool, moist skin
  • pale or flushed skin
  • heavy sweating
  • headache
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • weakness

Additional Resources for Staying Safe During Excessive Heat

In addition to these summer heat safety tips, here are a few more resources I recommend checking out. These are some great ways to make sure you’re prepared when those outdoor temps start to get a little too high.

1 - Gather Financial Information

Keep a folder of bank statements and extra cash in case the power goes out and ATMs and credit card machines aren’t working.


Bring copies of utility bills as proof of residence when applying for assistance.


Consider getting the Info Hub. The financial section will come in handy because you’ll have access to all of your important information at your fingertips. It gives you the option of a digital copy and a printable copy.

2 - Emergency Apps

Download the Red Cross Emergency App. You’ll be notified of weather and emergency alerts for your area. For more information on a variety of emergency apps, check out this blog post.

3 - Teaching Kids

You might not get your kids interested in reading this blog post or reviewing a checklist, but is a great resource for activities and videos to teach summer heat safety tips in a way that is fun for them.

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